Becoming your own health advocate, being curious about your testing and treatment, and assuming an active role in the decisions made for every step of your treatment is a fundamental shift that needs to take place for you to get well. It is very common in our society to put complete trust in your physician, not ask questions when he/she prescribes a battery of tests, and dutifully take any medicines prescribed to you. The glaring fact is in the country, very few medically-certified physicians are trained to treat Lyme disease or even believe that chronic Lyme disease exists. It’s such a problem that Lyme-literate medical doctor, Daniel Cameron recently wrote an article, “‘Near-universal’ negative experiences with healthcare providers reported by Lyme disease patients.” Because so many Lyme patients are mistreated, misunderstood, or dismissed by their trained physicians, it is vital that a Lyme patient actively steer the course of their diagnosis and prognosis. What is uncommon is to attempt to be a partner with your practitioner, and if this rankles the practitioner, it would be better to find a different one. Respected physician Dr. Lee Cowden (the originator of the Cowden protocol for Lyme disease) has said that “Every patient needs to have skin in the game.” In other words, the more involved a patient is in their treatment, the more suited that treatment will be to the patient’s success.
This is another question that sounds like a no-brainer, but it takes a strong person to put their lives under the microscope and figure out which things might be contributing to or even worsening their illness. Things that need to be examined are diet, sleep patterns, sources of stress, toxic relationships, toxic homes or workplaces, addictions, and long-term thought patterns borne out of grief or trauma. Most of these are very difficult to identify, address and change. In fact, you would call them “lifestyle changes.” But if the life you led prior to illness actually caused it, then it makes sense that nothing short of a drastic change is needed to get you to a better place to save your health. Identifying the changes needed, making them, and then sticking to them can be nothing short of lifechanging. It can also be the most significant step in your path to wellness.
This is another question that sounds incredibly basic, but it is fairly common for Lyme patients to be fully engaged in a treatment plan and not believe they can ever get better. They may have read that Lyme disease can never be “cured” or that certain treatments they’re undertaking won’t take them into full remission. The physical evidence is bearing this out, so they spin their wheels in a constant state of inertia. At this point, it is important to understand how powerful mindset is and how it plays an active role in the success or downfall of your treatment. “The placebo effect” has been studied extensively (see studies) and its counterpart, the “nocebo effect” shows the power of patient mindset, especially on treatment results. Just as a patient’s confidence and positive feeling they have regarding a certain treatment can create a positive treatment outcome, a patient can block a treatment’s effectiveness (nocebo) by not feeling good about it or believing it will not help them. It is safe to say that it’s entirely possible you won’t get better until you believe you can.
To bear this out scientifically, Japanese author and scientist Masuro Emoto published a book called “The Hidden Messages in Water” in 2004. In this book, he chronicled several experiments he conducted where groups of people focused particular emotions and words like “hate,” “love,” “gratitude,” “jealousy,” etc. on single vats of water. Afterward, the water was frozen and the ice crystals were analyzed under a microscope showing the significant difference human emotions and intentions had on the physical structure of the water and its ice crystals. Knowing that our thoughts and emotions have this kind of impact on our material surroundings, why not try your own experiment? For the next few weeks, every time you take your medication or treatment, hold it in your hand, feel grateful for it and say out loud how much better you’ll feel after taking this effective treatment. Watch how you feel over the next few weeks and continue if you start noticing positive effects.
Most people who have recovered from Lyme disease will tell you it took focus and dedication once they found a treatment that showed signs of working for them. What doesn’t work is staying in a testing mode, continuously doubting treatment results, and wondering if another treatment might work better. The normal gestation cycle of Lyme and co-infections is 90 days, so it can take 1-3 months on any kind of treatment before you can make a valid assumption on its effectiveness. Further, it is a typical situation with well-known protocols like the Buhner protocol, Cowden protocol, or the CellCore program that it can take at least 5 months of steady treatment before a patient sees significant improvement. It takes patience, and it takes focus on how your body is reacting to the treatment. But once you arrive at a chosen treatment, it can dilute your progress if you spend extra money on blood testing to “see where you are.” Diagnostic tests aren’t even that accurate at helping you diagnose the disease in the first place, and to date, there is no effective blood test that can gauge how sick you are or if you’re making improvements on treatment. Only your body’s reaction can tell you that. When you wake up in the morning, do you still feel sick? Then you need to stay on treatment. When you have a string of days where you feel “normal,” stay on treatment for several more weeks until all symptoms are in your rearview mirror. At that point, focus on rejoining your life, making future plans, and walking away from the illness. Keep a stock of treatment around for any days you might feel them creeping back, but don’t feel like you need to look over your shoulder for the rest of your life. As thousands of patients will tell you, you can reach remission by shifting your focus from diagnosis, to treatment, to rejoining your life. Give each step the time it deserves.
The above material is provided for informational purposes only. The material is not nor should be considered a substitute for medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment.